P Agbasi, O Orisakwe, E Obi, C Ilo
b-success, heart, herbal supplement, kidney, liver, rats
P Agbasi, O Orisakwe, E Obi, C Ilo. Biochemical Effects Of B-Success (A Nigerian Herbal Remedy) On Liver And Heart Of Albino Rats. The Internet Journal of Herbal and Plant Medicine. 2012 Volume 1 Number 2.
The use of traditional and alternative medicine has increased worldwide1. Also the rate of herbal remedies use has risen astronomically in the third world mainly due to poverty and affordability of the regimen. In Nigeria, the traditional herbal medicine practitioners have strong government recognized association with strong lobbying power and patronage. They engage in regular trade fair exhibitions in various cities to showcase their herbal remedies most of which are registered by a federal government agency; National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). The herbal and traditional methods in Nigeria have reasonable level of success in the area of malaria therapy, traditional child birth, bone setting among others, although largely unreported.
Although Nigerian herbal practitioners have shown some improvements in the standardization of doses and dosages, many herbal supplements have poor toxicological assessment to ensure human safety. This forms a major drawback in their use. Many investigators have reported detrimental toxicological implications of consuming some of these supplements1-3. In view of all these, we set out to investigate the effects of B-Success on the liver, kidney and heart of albino rats.
Preparation of the extract of B-Success herbal supplement as described from a previous study4 was used. About 400g of the powered herbal supplements were macerated in one litre of ethanol for 24 hours. The filtrate obtained after passing over Whatman 4 cellulose filter paper, pore size 20-25m and diameter 15cm, was concentrated with a vacuum evaporator for 8 hours. 72g of the dried solid extract were recovered and water was used as the vehicle to prepare the required concentrations used in the study. Phytochemical studies were done using the extract described above5.
Subchronic toxicity study
Twenty adult albino rats were allocated to four dose groups of five (5) rats each. The first group received 315mg/kg (25% of the LD50), second group 630mg/kg (50% of the LD50), and third group 945mg/kg (75% of LD50) of the B-Success herbal supplement by oral gavage for 90 days. Doses were chosen based on previous LD50 determination using a modification of Lorke method6 and correspond to doses commonly used by the people. The control group received no herbal drug but had access to deionized water and were fed
Values were reported as mean ± SEM. Students t-test was used to analyze the difference between sample means while Analyses of Variance (ANOVA) was employed to analyze the data using computer software programme, Standard Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 11; Chicago, IL USA. P<0.05 was considered as significant.
Phytochemical analysis showed saponins, flavonoids, glycoside, and terpenoids.
Body weight and biochemical analysis
Feed , fluid intake and body weight changes of albino rats treated with the extract of B-Success for 90 days are shown on Table 1. Fluid intake was significantly increased in the 315 mg/kg B-Success group. Administration of B-Success supplements (630 and 945 mg/kg) significantly affected the weight gain of the albino rats.
Table 2 shows Alanin transaminase (ALT) and Aspartate transaminase (AST) level of 630 and 945 mg/kg groups being significantly increased p<0.05 compared to control. The ALT and AST values of the highest dose group were dose dependently increased compared to other test groups. The bilirubin values in all the test groups did not significantly increase compared to control. The urea value of 630 and 945 mg/kg groups were significantly (p<0.05) increased compared to control. Only the creatinine value of 945 mg/kg group was significantly increased p<0.05 compared to control
Table 3 presented total cholesterol and high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) of 630 and 945 mg/kg groups to be dose dependently increased p<0.05 compared to control. Low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol of 630 and 945 mg/kg groups were significantly decreased compared to control.
The present investigation was primarily undertaken to delineate the hepatic, nephrotic and cardiac effects of B-Success herbal supplement. Alanin transaminase (ALT) and Aspartate transaminase (AST) of B-Success treated rats were significantly increased. It is well known that liver enzymes are usually raised in acute hepatotoxicity but tend to decrease with prolonged intoxication due to damage to hepatocytes7. Increase in liver enzymes may be as a result of either damage or hyperplasia of liver cells. Boku et al 2008 8 reported increased bilirubin and amino-transaminase enzymes in cat after nimesulide a non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) administration which later returned to normal after drug withdrawal. Nutritional supplements like herbalife caused hepatitis and cirrhosis9. Green tea has been shown to induce oxidative stress in human livers10. Even Kava plant extract in Kava herbal mixture was reported to have caused liver failure in people taking them11.
The percentage weight gain of medium and high dose treatment groups were dose dependently reduced although not significant compared to control but the high dose group was significantly decreased compared to those of low dose category. Overall, the percentage weight gain of low dose group was not significantly higher than control and medium dose treatment group except the high dose group. This shows that B-Success at low dose caused increased feeding and weight gain and this had dose dependent reversal effect as the drug dose increased and this is also followed with increased toxicity. The amino-transaminases of low dose group were not significantly elevated. B-Success at low dosage increased appetite and feeding which decreases as dose size increases as demonstrated by percentage weight gain.The urea of medium and high groups and the high dose group’s creatinine were dose dependently increased compared to control. B-Success caused dose dependent increase in the urea and creatinine levels. Increased urea and creatinine levels are known to result from or caused by kidney failure. Some natural substances from plants are known to be deleterious to the kidney. Aristolochic acid from roots of Aristolochia tree of Chinese origin contained in many preparations example slimming pills caused chronic renal failure in humans and has even been shown to be carcinogenic to the kidney tissues12. Apart from liver that is known to be involved in biotransformation, kidney has also been shown to be in involved in biotransformation or metabolism of exogenous substances13 and in this way can be damaged by chemicals it is trying to detoxify. Also damage or block of renal tubules during filtration and reabsorption process (normal kidney function) can also cause kidney failure and subsequent retention of substances like urea and creatinine. Further studies will be needed to determine the mechanism of toxicity of kidney by B-Success. Equally, Tribulus terrestris plant extract used to treat and prevent kidney stone caused increased transaminases and creatinine elevation14. Another Nigerian herbal remedy called U and D sweet bitter caused dose dependent creatinine increase in chronic administration15.
B-Success in this study produced decreased LDL and increased HDL cholesterol which is beneficial to the heart and circulatory system. Flavonoids one of phytoconstituent of B-Success, are a group of natural compounds widely present in vegetables, fruits and edible plants that possess potent biological activities. Dietary intake of flavonoids is suggested to prevent and lower the risk of chronic diseases16